Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 397
ROH has a NEW World Champion, and it’s Matt Taven! What will the newest Grand Slam Champion have to say about finally being atop the mountain?
- Silas Young VS Jonathan Gresham; Young wins.
- The Briscoes VS Soberano Jr. & Caristico; The Briscoes win.
PLAY BY PLAY
G1 Supercard had an ROH World Championship ladder match.
And the man to bring the belt down was the NEW ROH World Champion… MATT TAVEN! History was made at the historic event, but where do we go from here?
Matt Taven is here!
The Kingdom’s ring leader walks out, holding the world title high. He takes his time entering the ring before picking a mic. Oddly, some fans chant “You Deserve It!” but naturally others counter, “No You Don’t!” Either way, Taven says he earned the title. Because he DOES deserve this! “Be a Melvin all you want. I know you haven’t accomplished a thing in your entire life so you can’t understand this moment.” But looking at the past years, there’s not a man on this Earth more worthy of being world champion than Taven. Fans actually chant Taven’s name. Taven wants us to think about this: “If you went to your job at McDonald’s, and for the past year, you weren’t appreciated.”
The former world champion, Dalton Castle, ducked Taven. So Taven and his team won the ROH World Six Man Tag titles. Taven went to CMLL to be the first foreigner to win their NWA Historic Welterweight Championship. He returned to ROH and pinned the champ in the middle of the ring “for all you Melvins to see!” Then he went back to Mexico to be the first foreigner to headline their anniversary show. And on top of that, he main-evented Korakuen Hall, main-evented in Vegas, and went 60 minutes to a draw with one of the very best. That moment should’ve been Taven’s, “but it all worked out in the end, didn’t it?” Because in Madison Square Garden, “the memory of Matt Taven will live on forever.”
Taven is the only man is the UNDISPUTED ROH World Champion! And why is that? “Because IIII’M Matt Taven!” And from here on, if you want a shot at the most prestigious title in pro-wrestling, you must do what Taven did for years: EARN it! But wait, here comes Flip Gordon! The Captain of the Flip Army has a new song and a new suit! And he tells Taven, “I couldn’t help but hear in the back that you want somebody to earn their opportunity.” But everyone’s forgetting that Flip won his shot in the Sea of Honor tournament. Taven laughs, because while Flip isn’t the smartest guy in the world, there is a big difference winning a tournament on a cruise where everyone’s partying, and winning the title at MSG!
Well Taven can laugh all he wants, but Flip just talked to ROH management, and his knee is 100%. Therefore, Flip is now THE #1 Contender to Taven’s title! This knee is gonna kick Taven’s ass! Fans cheer for “FLIP! FLIP!” but when and where will Flip fly and challenge Taven for his throne?
ROH management makes that call already!
With Matt Taven willing to be a fighting champion, he and Flip Gordon will face-off in three weeks! The landmark 400TH episode will have the ROH World Championship on the line! Will Taven keep hold of his newly won crown? Or will Flip earn his first world championship to make his own legacy last forever?
ROH reviews the recent history of the Last Real Man and The Octopus.
It was at the 17th Anniversary Show in Las Vegas when Jay Lethal was ready to Hail to the King, but the red balloons were released! Vinnie Marseglia the Horror King appears to attack but so does TK O’Ryan! The Kingdom gets away with beating down Lethal but Jonathan Gresham rushes out to even things up. However, that wasn’t enough when it was 2v1 on the outside. The Kingdom put Gresham on the barriers to SMACK a leg with a chair! In the end, Lethal VS Taven was a time-limit draw. But the night wasn’t over for Gresham as Silas Young came over.
The Last Real Man mocked Gresham’s pain, and said Gresham got what he deserved for interfering in someone else’s business. Silas worked hard to get a match with Gresham for the Anniversary Show and now this happens. What’s next? Gresham can’t compete? No way, Gresham is the best pure wrestler in the company! He’ll fight even with a bad knee! Silas says Gresham needs to lighten up and learn how to take a joke. But then he kicks the bad leg out! Silas added insult to injury, but they’d have it out in a match three weeks later, ROH Episode 394! It was a tough fought match, but Silas stooped to his usual lows with a low blow! Gresham’s grudge only grows stronger, will he settle the score in their rematch, right now?!
Silas Young VS Jonathan Gresham!
The Last Real Man talks trash again as he promises to beat The Octopus again, with another wrestling hold! Will Gresham keep Silas’ ego from growing any bigger than it already is? Or will Silas find a way to cheat Gresham again?
The fans are strongly behind Gresham as he wants right at Silas. The referee keeps them apart and Silas actually wants to uphold the Code of Honor. Gresham is wary, but he does accept. But then Gresham holds on tight! The two grind foreheads but they need to back off before the bell can ring. Silas and Gresham let each other go, and the bell rings! Silas kicks low but Gresham catches it! Gresham gets the headlock takeover but Silas headscissors. Gresham pops out but Silas runs him over with a shoulder. Silas taunts Gresham but Gresham kicks him in the leg. Gresham eggs Silas on but Silas runs him over again, only to get another kick to the leg. Silas walks it off and runs Gresham over again.
Silas jumps the kick to sweep the legs and cover, ONE! Gresham sweeps Silas and covers, ONE as Silas shows off some flexibility. Silas runs but Gresham goes perpendicular and now they’re just running the ropes. Gresham ducks down, Silas goes over, and then Silas blocks the hip toss. Gresham blocks the counter, but then so does Silas, but then back to Gresham, and they end up tumbling out of the ring! Silas runs into Gresham’s headlock takedown, but he headscissors back. Gresham pops out again but roles reverse as Silas headlock takeovers and Gresham headscissors. Silas pops out but Gresham drop toeholds him onto the mat! Gresham throws Silsa but Silas throws him into the ring. Silas runs Gresham over but again Gresham sits up.
Things speed up, but again they counter back and forth on the hip tosses. They both grab the ropes while trying to throw the other over. The ref pries them apart and we go to break.
ROH returns as Silas and Gresham trade waistlocks and standing switches. Silas gets the waistlock slam! Gresham gets up and the exchange of standing switches continues, to end with another waistlock slam from Silas. Gresham still gets up and the switches continue again! Silas again gets a waistlock slam then floats all over Gresham! Fans give credit where credit is due and applaud, but Gresham grows frustrated. They tie up and go around, and Gresham puts Silas in the corner. Silas turns it around, but Gresham turns it back on him. Gresham backs off to CHOP Silas! Gresham seems to borrow something from Silas now.
Silas is a bit surprised. He says he’s the better wrestler, and defends he’s been nothing but clean and fair with Gresham, even though we all know better. But if Gresham wants to be a man, then hit Silas again! Gresham CHOPS Silas again! Silas CHOPS back, and now it’s a chop fight! They go back and forth, and Gresham gets an edge. Gresham ducks a clothesline to throw a haymaker! Silas goes reeling and the ref accuses Gresham of using a closed fist! Gresham argues with the ref while Silas smirks. Gresham grows frustrated and Silas starts taunting him again. Silas offers up an arm, but Gresham is wary. Gresham gets the wrist, Silas rolls and cartwheels through to reverse it onto Gresham.
Fans cheer but Gresham headscissors. Silas pops out, and stops Gresham by again offering up the arm! Gresham grimaces but Silas waits. Gresham grabs the arm and wrenches, but Silas wrenches and suplexes Gresham back! Silas has Gresham’s wrist but Gresham headscissors again. Silas escapes again, but now Gresham offers up his wrist! Fans rally up as Silas considers this. Silas wipes his hands on the ref, then grabs Gresham’s wrist. But Silas doesn’t wrench it, he just reels Gresham in for a clubbing forearm to the back! Silas clubs Gresham down then stomps him. Silas wrenches Gresham but Gresham wrenches back. Gresham snapmares and chinlocks but Silas slips out. Silas wrenches but Gresham rolls and snapmares again.
Gresham wants the chinlock again but Silas slips out and back to the wristlock. Gresham grows frustrated but he spins through. He backs Silas down to a corner, then calls for the break. But then Gresham monkey flips Silas! Silas holds on and fans applaud. Gresham rolls, handsprings, bridges and breaks free to dropkick Silas down! Fans are liking the more aggressive Gresham, too, as he runs in to CHOP Silas! Gresham whips but Silas reverses. Silas runs in but Gresham drop toeholds him into buckles! Gresham marches corner to corner and hits the basement dropkick! Silas bails out and Gresham fires up while we go to break.
ROH returns as Gresham chases Silas into the ring. Silas runs but Gresham hurdles and waistlocks. Silas bucks him off and rolls him up, but Gresham sits on it! ONE and Silas sunsets but Gresham rolls through to jackknife but Silas pops out to another sunset, TWO! Gresham rolls and tilt-o-whirls to a DDT! Silas slumps out of the ring and staggers around the corner. Fans fire up with Gresham but Silas goes for a chair? And the ring bell hammer?! The ref sees the chair and takes it, but Silas has the hammer and SMACKS Gresham in the head!! Silas drags Gresham up into an abdominal stretch! Gresham is OUT, Silas wins!!
Winner: Silas Young, by stoppage
That was a wrestling hold, but that wasn’t what won the match for him! Silas still shakes hands with Gresham to “keep” the Code of Honor! Will the Last Real Man ever beat Gresham like a man? Or will he continue to cheat Gresham in these grudge matches?
ROH brings us back to the G1 Supercard’s Women of Honor World Championship match.
Kelly Klein got Mayu Iwatani up for a powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO! Kelly grows frustrated but she wouldn’t let up. She’d get May up again, and hit the K-Power slam! But not just one, but a spinning K-Power on top! And Kelly Klein is your NEW and first-ever TWO-TIME WOH World Champion! But to greet the Pretty Badass, it was Angelina Love & Velvet Sky! The Beautiful People joined ROH, but then Mandy Leon appeared! She looked to be helping Kelly, but she would ATTACK her instead! Jenny Rose and Stella Grey would try to get back at Mandy but she and the Beautiful People would use hair spray and DDT’s to deal with them. Women of Honor, meet The Allure!
Kelly Klein speaks to this incident.
“Where to even begin?” Kelly is the two-time WOH World Champion, but then some “outsiders” felt they needed some attention. That’s what “The Allure” is about. But what Kelly is about is the title. This title is about honor because honor is the name. And honor is about integrity, skill and wrestling. If the Allure want to get involved, if they want the attention, then they’ve got everyone’s attention. They have Kelly’s attention. And she assures them that she will clean up the “hot mess” those three are. Which woman will be Kelly’s first target?
ROH brings us back to G1 Supercard’s Rush VS Dalton Castle.
The Peacock had to worry about The Boys when he should’ve been worried about El Toro Blanco. The minute the bell rings, Rush shotgun dropkicks Castle to a corner! Then goes corner to corner for the Bull’s Horns! And another! Cover, Rush wins!! Tranquilo strikes down the former world champion in shockingly quick fashion, but that wasn’t even the most surprising thing. Castle turns on The Boys!! He gut wrench powerbombs Boy 1, then drags Boy 2 up for BANGARANG! Madison Square Garden wanted to know “Why, Castle, Why?” but even Castle seem conflicted. We will hear from The Peacock next week, what will his explanation be?
LifeBlood’s Tracy Williams and Mark Haskins speak.
“Bully Ray, I didn’t see you, but I know it was you” who attacked Haskins backstage in Baltimore. Because then Bully did the same to Juice Robinson at Madison Square Garden. Of course, LifeBlood wasn’t having it, so Juice, Haskins and Flip went after him and sent him packing. How did Bully respond? He attacked Tenille Dashwood and put her through a table! Bully’s not a bully, he’s a “scared little boy”. LifeBlood will get Bully soon enough, but they’ve got unfinished business with The Kingdom. The Kingdom ran away from a fight in Vegas, so LifeBlood will take The Kingdom out next week. And then, Bully, they end this. Will Hot Sauce and Haskins get through the Horror King and Sassy Wild Horse to then beat down Bully Ray?
The Briscoes VS Soberano Jr. & Caristico!
ROH and CMLL crossover again as a new pair of luchadores make their ROH TV debuts! But will this combination of the Mexican National Welterweight Champion and Mystico Original be able to defeat #DemBoyz on their turf? We find out after one more break.
ROH returns and while Team CMLL wants to uphold the Code of Honor, the Briscoes don’t really care. Caristico shoves Mark but Mark shoves back. The teams calm down and sort out, and we start with Soberano and Mark. Mark throws his headband away and circles with Soberano. They tie up and Mark waistlocks. Soberano spins around to a facelock, but Mark trips him up. Mark jumps on for a grounded headlock, but Soberano works his way up. Soberano gets a hammerlock but Mark slips around for his own. Mark spins Soberano to snapmare and kick him in the back! Mark taunts Soberano but Soberano comes back to circle with him. The Sussex County Chicken taunts Soberano with switching hands in the test of strength, so Soberano just gets his leg!
Soberano brings Mark down and floats to a waistlock and rolls to a cover. TWO and Mark gets clear. Jay comes over to talk with Mark. Mark comes back and ties up with Soberano in the test of strength. Soberano throws big kicks then goes acrobatic to headscissor Mark to a corner! Mark uses the ropes as defense and Jay comes over again, but Soberano gets Jay to back off with a handspring. Soberano dares Mark to come back but Mark stays away. Caristico tags in and waits for the Briscoes to do something. Jay tags in and we have a dream match-up. They both taunt the other with switching hands in the test of strength. Caristico gets in Jay’s face as he switches hands, but Jay grabs him for a headlock. Caristico fights out and to a headlock of his own. Jay powers out and things speed up.
Caristico handsprings but Jay gets clear. Fans cheer as Jay is clearly surprised by that. Things speed up again and Caristico headscissors Jay. Jay swings but Caristico blocks to CHOP and acrobatically arm-drag! Jay flounders out of the ring and regroups with Mark, but then the luchadores spook them as they both build speed! The Briscoes stay back while talking strategy. Fans duel with “Lucha!” “Man Up!” while the Briscoes flank Team CMLL. Mark runs in first but gets caught! He still boots Caristico away and backs Soberano to a corner. Jay runs in to clobber Soberano with a corner clothesline! Mark boots Caristico down!
The Briscoes have Caristico for a double whip and double shoulders! Fans cheer #DemBoyz while Mark builds speed to wreck Caristico with a dropkick. Jay scoop slams Soberano down, then Mark hits a Cactus Jack elbow off the apron! Jay BOOTS Caristico back down and The Briscoes have control while we go to break!
ROH returns once more as Jay pulls at Caristico’s mask! Caristico fights Jay off and runs, but into a big dropkick. Jay tags in Mark and the Briscoes mug Caristico. Caristico crawls but Mark drops elbows on him. Cover, TWO, but Mark hits Soberano. Mark kicks Caristico back then brings him up. Caristico breaks free to CHOP and forearm, but Mark knees him low. Mark headbutts Caristico to the corner and tags in Jay. The Briscoes mug Caristico more with a mudhole stomp. Jay grinds his boot in but lets up at 4. He taunts Soberano but goes back to Caristico. Jay brings Caristico up and scoop slams him. Tag to Mark and Mark mocks lucha libre with his senton atomico. Mark stomps Caristico then tags Jay.
The Briscoes drag Caristico up for more mugging. Fans still duel and Caristico fires off forearms. Jay kicks him back and tags Mark again. The Briscoes double whip but Caristico handsprings for double back elbows! Hot tag to Soberano! Soberano climbs up fast and double crossbodies the Briscoes! Soberano speeds up and Caristico gives him the boost to double dropkick The Briscoes down! Mark and Jay bail out and now Caristico builds speed. Soberano gives him the boost but the Briscoes get clear! Caristico lands safely on the apron, to hold the ropes down for Soberano to FLY! Soberano wipes out the Briscoes and high-fives fans! He brings The Briscoes together for Caristico. Caristico is up top and LEAPS for a crossbody that gets everyone!
Soberano and Caristico regroup while fans rally up. Caristico gets back in and Soberano sends Mark in. Fans duel with “Lucha!” “Man up!” Caristico kicks and whips Mark but Mark goes up and ax handles! Mark fires off strikes on Caristico, then whips him corner to corner. Caristico reverses but Mark puts him on the apron. Caristico kicks back, then SUPERKICKS Jay away! He goes to the other corner to springboard crossbody Mark down! Cover, TWO!! Tag to Soberano and Team CMLL go after Mark. Fans fire up as Soberano climbs and Caristico Electric Chair lifts Mark. They take a page out of the Briscoes’ playbook with a crossbody Doomsday! Cover, but Jay breaks it!
Jay goes after Caristico and throws him out. Caristico drags Jay out and they start brawling. Jay sends Caristico into a chair! Soberano whips Mark but Mark reverses. Jay returns for the big clothesline, then feeds him to Mark’s shotgun knee! Tag to Jay and he drags Soberano up. He turns Soberano but Soberano slips out and boots! Soberano runs but into a sudden Spicoli Driver! Cover, TWO!! Soberano survives and Jay grows frustrated. Fans rally while Jay underhooks Soberano. Caristico runs in and Jay dodges to SUPERKICK Caristico back! Jay rocks Soberano while Mark throws Caristico out. Mark lifts Soberano and the Briscoes coordinate for Redneck Boogie! Cover, TWO!! Soberano survives again! Mark kicks Caristico back out while Jay underhooks Soberano. JAY DRILLER! Mark climbs and Jay brings Soberano around, Froggy-Bow! Mark keeps Caristico out again while Jay covers, The Briscoes win!
Winners: The Briscoes, Jay pinning
#DemBoyz may not be ROH World Tag Team Champions, but they’re still the toughest team in ROH! Will they get those belts back from the Guerrillas of Destiny soon enough?
A pretty great episode of ROH and with only two matches! Taven’s promo was pretty good, because those really are his resume accomplishments. And I still feel we should’ve gotten Lethal VS Taven, real belt against purple belt, because Taven even uses the phrase “Undisputed ROH World Champion”. It’s what I was expecting all along, so it’s a shame we never really got it. But it is great that we’re getting a world title match on Episode 400, Flip Gordon is going to do great in that match, but sadly I don’t think he wins. Silas VS Gresham is becoming an incredible rivalry, whenever they meet, they do great stuff. Gresham’s new aggression is a good development, Silas is really pushing his buttons. I would love if their blow-off was actually something extreme so that Silas can’t actually cheat.
This episode did have a lot of G1 Supercard recap but for the better. I for one didn’t even know about Rush squashing Castle and then Castle turning Heel on The Boys. I look forward to hearing Castle’s explanation next week, and to see where The Boys go from here. Kelly Klein had a solid promo to address The Allure, and the double turn of her to Face and Mandy Leon to Heel is a good development. Without Tenille Dashwood in ROH, they can’t do the story I expected of Kelly being the real attacker. Kelly will need to find allies to fight The Allure at some point, but I expect that after Kelly takes on one member to be attacked by all three, a standard wrestling formula. Mandy could even be the world champion while Angelina & Velvet can be the possible WOH Tag Champions.
LifeBlood VS The Kingdom will be a good match next week, but I bet Bully Ray responds to them calling him out by helping Vinnie & TK O’Ryan. With Taven busy defending his world title, I wonder if Bully teams with Vinnie & TK to take on Tracy, Haskins and Juice as a blow-off of sorts. Then in the main event of tonight’s show, the tag match was great. Briscoes always have good matches, Soberano and Caristico made a great team, but obviously the ROH team wins. Briscoes VS GoD at War of the Worlds makes the most sense to finally give us the tag match we should’ve gotten all along.
My Score: 8.3/10